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Combining protected areas with natural forest timber concessions may sustain larger forest landscapes than is possible via protected areas alone. However, the role of timber concessions in maintaining natural forest remains poorly characterized. An estimated 57% (303,525 km2) of Kalimantan's land area (532,100 km2) was covered by natural forest in 2000. About 14,212 km2 (4.7%) had been cleared by 2010. Forests in oil palm concessions had been reduced by 5,600 km2 (14.1%), while the figures for timber concessions are 1,336 km2 (1.5%), and for protected forests are 1,122 km2 (1.2%). These deforestation rates explain little about the relative performance of the different land use categories under equivalent conversion risks due to the confounding effects of location. An estimated 25% of lands allocated for timber harvesting in 2000 had their status changed to industrial plantation concessions in 2010. Based on a sample of 3,391 forest plots (1×1 km; 100 ha), and matching statistical analyses, 2000–2010 deforestation was on average 17.6 ha lower (95% C.I.: −22.3 ha–−12.9 ha) in timber concession plots than in oil palm concession plots. When location effects were accounted for, deforestation rates in timber concessions and protected areas were not significantly different (Mean difference: 0.35 ha; 95% C.I.: −0.002 ha–0.7 ha). Natural forest timber concessions in Kalimantan had similar ability as protected areas to maintain forest cover during 2000–2010, provided the former were not reclassified to industrial plantation concessions. Our study indicates the desirability of the Government of Indonesia designating its natural forest timber concessions as protected areas under the IUCN Protected Area Category VI to protect them from reclassification.
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Reconciling Forest Conservation and Logging in
Indonesian Borneo
David L. A. Gaveau
1
*, Mrigesh Kshatriya
1
, Douglas Sheil
1,2,3
, Sean Sloan
4
, Elis Molidena
1
, Arief Wijaya
1
,
Serge Wich
5
, Marc Ancrenaz
6,7,8
, Matthew Hansen
9
, Mark Broich
10
, Manuel R. Guariguata
1
,
Pablo Pacheco
1
, Peter Potapov
9
, Svetlana Turubanova
9
, Erik Meijaard
1,11,12
1 Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia, 2 School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia,
3 Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC), Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Kabale, Uganda, 4 Centre for Tropical Environmental and
Sustainability Science, School of Marine & Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia, 5 Research Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and
Palaeoecology, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 6 Sabah Wildlife Department, Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah, Malaysia, 7 HUTAN, Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme, Kota Kinabalu, Sa,bah, Malaysia, 8 North England Zoological Society, Chester Zoo,
Chester, United Kingdom, 9 Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States of America, 10 The Climate Change
Cluster, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, Australia, 11 Borneo Futures Project, People and Nature Consulting International, Ciputat, Jakarta, Indonesia, 12 School of
Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Abstract
Combining protected areas with natural forest timber concessions may sustain larger forest landscapes than is possible via
protect ed areas alone. However, the ro le of timb er concessions in ma intaining natural forest remains poorly
characterized. An estimated 57% (303,525 km
2
) of Kalimantan’s land area (532,100 km
2
) was covered by natural forest
in 2000. About 14,212 km
2
(4.7%) had been cleared by 2010. Forests in oil palm concessions had been reduced by
5,600 km
2
(14.1%), while the figures for timber concessions are 1,336 km
2
(1.5%), and for protected forests are 1,122 km
2
(1.2%). These deforestation rates explain little about the relative performance of the different land use categories under
equivalent conversion risks due to the confounding effects of location. An estimated 25% of lands allocated for timber
harvesting in 2000 had their status changed to industrial plantation concessions in 2010. Based on a sample of 3,391 forest
plots (161 km; 100 ha), and matching statistical analyses, 2000–2010 deforestation was on average 17.6 ha lower (95% C.I.:
222.3 ha–212.9 ha) in timber concession plots than in oil palm concession plots. When location effects were accounted
for, deforestation rates in timber concessions and protected areas were not significantly different (Mean difference: 0.35 ha;
95% C.I.: 20.002 ha–0.7 ha). Natural forest timber concessions in Kalimantan had similar ability as protected areas to
maintain forest cover during 2000–2010, provided the former were not reclassified to industrial plantation concessions. Our
study indicates the desirability of the Government of Indonesia designating its natural forest timber concessions as
protected areas under the IUCN Protected Area Category VI to protect them from reclassification.
Citation: Gaveau DLA, Kshatriya M, Sheil D, Sloan S, Molidena E, et al. (2013) Reconciling Forest Conservation and Logging in Indonesian Borneo. PLoS ONE 8(8):
e69887. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887
Editor: Jason M. Kamilar, Midwestern University & Arizona State University, United States of America
Received Apri l 19, 2013; Accepted June 13, 2013; Published August 14, 2013
Copyright: ß 2013 Gaveau et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funding: This work was funded by the Arcus foundation and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry. The funders had no role in study
design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
* E-mail: d.gaveau@cgiar.org
Introduction
Strictly protected areas are established by governments to
conserve biological diversity and sustain other values and
functions. Extractive and agricultural activities in protected forests
are generally prohibited. Most authorities consider that establish-
ing such strictly protected areas represents the best strategy for
conserving tropical forests [1]. However, given economic de-
mands, social pressure on land, and the cost of forest protection
[2,3], these areas are unlikely to ever constitute more than a minor
part of the tropical landscape, particularly in lowland areas [4,5,6].
Some conservation scientists propose combining protected areas
with natural forest timber concessions to sustain larger forest
landscapes than otherwise possible via protected areas alone
[3,7,8,9,10,11,12]. This strategy has the merit of generating
income and employment arguably making it easier to gain
political and public support for conservation. The integration of
natural forest timber concessions in a forest protection strategy
makes sense in countries, such as Indonesia, where protected area
management remains weak [13,14], where the government seeks
economic opportunities for its people, and where the urgency of
conservation action is high [15].
Natural forest timber concessions are parcels of natural forest
leased out to companies or to communities to harvest timber on a
long term basis. When natural forest timber concessions are
additional to more strictly protected areas they bring an
opportunity to maintain larger and better connected forest
landscapes with a greater capacity to maintain low density, large
range and high mobility species [16]. Indeed, timber concessions
are de facto a kind of protected area in most tropical countries, as
also indicated by their inclusion in the IUCN protected area
categories (as Category VI). Conversion of natural forests to
PLOS ONE | www.plosone.org 1 August 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 8 | e69887
plantations in timber concessions is generally prohibited. Conces-
sion managers are legally obliged to maintain permanent natural
forest cover [9]. Timber harvesting is supposed to be selective [17].
Concession managers only cut the commercially valuable wood
above a certain diameter and leave other trees standing for long
term regeneration. In equatorial Asia, between two and twenty
stems are typically removed from each hectare of forest, once
every few decades [18,19]. Generally, this leaves more than 90%
of the trees standing and remaining vegetation recognizably
constitutes a forest.
Not only does selective logging maintain a forest structure, a
recent global meta-analysis of . 100 scientific studies concluded
that timber extraction in tropical forests has relatively benign
impacts on biodiversity, because 85–100% of mammal, bird,
invertebrate, and plant species richness remains in forests that
have been harvested once [17]. Thus, a logged tropical forest can
remain a biologically rich forest [12]. Not everyone is convinced
that natural forest timber concessions should play a major role in
tropical forest conservation [20]. Many equate timber harvesting
(logging) with forest destruction and loggers with forest destroyers
[21,22]. Many concerns relate to the apparently increased
likelihood of a forest harvested for timber being further degraded
by wildfires or converted to agriculture. Harvested forests appear
to have increased vulnerability to fire [23,24,25]. Some govern-
ments equate ‘logged forests’ with ‘degraded lands’’ or ‘‘waste-
lands’, and reclassify these forests for conversion to industrial crops
such as oil palm [26]. Roads built to extract timber are also of
concern. They increase access which may exacerbate and facilitate
illegal encroachments and other threats such as hunting
[27,28,29,30,31,32,33]. But, any active timber concession requires
people on the ground who might in principle at least enforce
regulations and deter illegal activities [12] thus whether being a
timber concessions promotes deforestation compared to other
forest land classifications remains debatable.
Despite the interest, the role of timber concessions in
maintaining natural forest cover remains poorly characterized.
One recent study of all protected areas on the Indonesian island of
Sumatra revealed that areas allocated for natural timber
harvesting resisted conversion to agriculture as well (or, arguably,
as badly) as protected areas during the 1990s [34]. We note that
high levels of deforestation sometimes occur in protected areas all
over the world [14,35,36,37], but no-one would use this to argue
against having protected areas, rather most would suggest that
greater efforts should be invested in protection.
Here, we focus on natural forest timber concessions in
Kalimantan, the 532,100 km
2
Indonesian portion of Borneo.
Kalimantan is a globally important region for forest biodiversity
[38,39]. Currently, 110,232 km
2
of Kalimantan’s forests are under
official protection as national parks, nature reserves and other
protected areas. Natural forest timber concessions still make up a
large share of Kalimantan’s forest landscapes (105,945 km
2
), and
include one-third of the habitat of the endangered Bornean orang-
utan (Pongo pygmaeus) [40]. But, their long-term existence is in
jeopardy. As stated earlier, conversion to plantations is prohibited
in Indonesian natural forest timber concessions. However, to
compensate for the loss of logging revenues following years of
harvesting that depleted commercial timber stocks by the late
1980s, the Indonesian government began reclassifying timber
concessions in the 1990s into industrial plantation concessions, like
monoculture oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and other tree crops such as
Acacia mangium [41,42]. Oil palm concessions are parcels of land
leased out to companies to establish industrial oil palm plantations.
These concessions currently cover 115,500 km
2
of Kalimantan’s
land area [43]. If undeveloped oil palm concessions contain
natural forests, concession managers are legally obliged to remove
these forests to make way for plantations. Usually, the forest is
logged first. After all timber resources have been harvested, the
remaining trees, shrubs, and debris are often burned. Then, the
land is cleared and flattened using heavy machinery to make rows
of oil palms. Therefore, reclassification of natural forest timber
concessions into oil palm concessions has the immediate effect of
legalizing industry-driven deforestation within former timber
concessions. During 2000–2010, industrial oil palm plantations
in Kalimantan increased from an estimated 8,360 km
2
to
31,640 km
2
[43]. Therefore, considering timber concessions as
potential protected areas and maintaining their natural forest
status could contain the expansion of oil palm into forested areas,
and maintain larger and better connected forest landscape with a
greater capacity to conserve endangered forest wildlife.
To inform decision-making about the long-term status of
natural forest timber concessions, we assessed transitions between
official land use categories in Kalimantan (protected area, natural
forest timber concession, and oil palm concessions), and studied
the change in natural forest cover in each. We compared the total
area (248,305 km
2
) set aside for timber harvesting in natural forest
(the production zone, or Hutan Produksi) by Indonesia’s Ministry of
Forestry (MoF) in the year 2000 with the area of land allocated for
industrial plantations (oil palm and tree crops) and for protection
in the year 2010. This production zone includes the 105,945 km
2
active timber concession licenses mentioned earlier, and areas
without active timber licenses. This allowed us to estimate timber
concession areas reclassified to protected area and for use as
plantations (either oil palm or monoculture tree crops). To test
whether natural forest timber concessions (that have not been
reclassified to another land use) maintain forest cover, we
compared 2000–2010 deforestation rates inside timber concessions
with rates inside oil palm concessions; and with rates inside
protected areas. Because protected areas tend to be in remote
locations and deforestation generally increases with accessibility
(e.g. topography) and may also be affected by a variety of other
factors, a simple comparison of deforestation rates between logging
concession and protected areas would misjudge the protection
impact of protected areas [44]. We used ‘‘propensity score
matching’’ to help control for and thus reduce any such location
dependent biases [14,45,46,47].
Methods
Definitions of ‘forest’ and ‘deforestation’ and datasets
used
To map deforestation, we used a 60 m
2
spatial resolution ‘tree
cover loss’ map from 2000–2010 generated by authors MH, MB,
PP and ST using the methods of Broich et al. [48] and Potapov et
al. [49]. ‘Tree cover’ is defined as 60 m
2
tree stands with .25%
canopy cover of $5 m in height [48]. ‘Tree cover loss’ is defined
as the removal of tree stands. ‘Tree cover’ encompasses any trees
including industrial plantations (e.g. oil palm and acacia), mixed
traditional gardens (e.g. rubber, orchards, smallholder oil palm
and other agro-forests mixed with forest re-growth), as well as old-
growth natural forest. ‘Natural forest’ refers to lowland, hill and
lower montane dipterocarp forests (often mixed with ironwood
stands), mountain forests, freshwater and peat swamp forests,
heath forest or kerangas, and mangrove forests (including Nipah)
[50]. Because we are only interested in the loss of natural forests,
we excluded from our analysis all ‘tree cover loss’ pixels (60660 m)
that fell outside of remaining forest areas in year 2000 using a
forest cover map generated by Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry
(MoF) for year 2000 [51]. The MoF map was created using
Forest Conservation Strategy in Indonesia
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Landsat images. We assessed its quality by comparing it to our
databases of Landsat images. We found that it was in agreement
with our independent visual assessment of what constitutes intact
natural forests (Primary forest in MoF classification) as well as
natural forests degraded by logging, but where the forest remains
recognizably a forest (Secondary forest in MoF classification).
Land use maps
Maps showing the total area set aside for timber harvesting in
natural forests (production zone; Hutan Produksi) by the
Indonesian government in year 2000 were obtained in
1:250,000 scale from Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry. Maps of
natural forest timber concessions (year 2009–2010) and protected
areas (national parks, nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries,
recreational and hunting parks, and watershed protection reserves)
were obtained in 1:250,000 scale from [40], and originate from
Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry. Maps of industrial oil palm
concession boundaries (year 2005–2008) were obtained from [43],
and originate from the provincial governments of Kalimantan.
Protected areas created after 2000, for example the Sebangau
National Park, were excluded from the propensity score matching
analysis.
Propensity score matching
We tested whether natural forest timber concessions (that were
not reclassified to another land use) maintained forest cover during
2000–2010 using propensity score matching. We first generated a
sample of homogeneous forest stands, in the form of 100 ha forest
plots (161 km), which we placed randomly across Kalimantan’s
2000 forest cover. Forest plots that were placed within two
kilometres of a previously chosen forest plot were rejected. Two
kilometres were chosen as a compromise between the need for an
adequate sample and the wish to reduce non-independence among
observations. From these spatial restrictions, the maximum
allowed number of forest plots was n = 6,234 plots. From this
sample, only plots that were fully or nearly fully forested (.95 ha
in a 100 ha plot) in year 2000 were used to compare deforestation
rates between timber concessions, protected areas, and oil palm
concessions, to allow the comparison of deforestation amongst
plots in number of hectares lost rather than in percentage terms.
The final subset retained for this analysis had n = 3,391 plots.
We measured the area of deforestation in each 100 ha plot, with
values that ranged from 0–100 ha on a continuous scale, which we
considered to be our indicator of effectiveness, and compared the
deforestation between plots in timber concession (n = 1,220), in
protected areas (n = 1,699), and in oil palm concessions (n = 472).
We used the matching package, MatchIt in R [52] to control for
accessibility dependent effects in deforestation rates and in land
use allocation between plots in natural forest timber concessions,
protected areas, and oil palm concessions. Based on the literature
of tropical deforestation, the variables that best characterize
accessibility are slope, elevation above sea level, distance
(expressed as travel time) to roads, and to cities [53]. Methods
used to extract travel times can be found in File S1. In the context
of expanding oil palm plantations in Kalimantan we added
distance to oil palm mills, and to existing oil palm plantations in
year 2000. These six variables were defined as ‘‘control variables’’
(Figure S1 in File S1). A propensity score was defined as the
probability of a 100 ha plot being assigned as a timber concession.
This probability was obtained from a logistic regression model in
which the presence or the absence of a timber concession in the
landscape was regressed against the control variables. The nearest
neighbor with caliper procedure was implemented in the MatchIt
package [52].
For every plot inside timber concessions, MatchIt paired up
(matched) a plot inside protected areas (or inside oil palm
concessions) that possessed the nearest propensity score. No plot
could be matched to more than one other plot (without
replacement). Only pairs where the difference in propensity scores
did not exceed the caliper width were retained. A narrow caliper
width was set to 0.25 times the standard deviation of the
propensity scores. This narrow caliper width succeeded in
matching more similar sites (e.g. protected area and concession
plots of similar elevations and slopes) but with fewer number of
pairs, thereby increasing the variance of the estimated treatment
effect [54]; i.e. the mean difference in deforestation rate. MatchIt
further restricted the matching across the landscape, so that a
matched plot inside a protected area (or inside an oil palm
concession) fell within the same administration and within the
same soil type as the timber concession plot. This step was taken to
ensure that pairs possessed similar socio-ecological and soil
characteristics by being not too distant from each other. For
example, wildfires are an important driver of deforestation in
Eastern Kalimantan, but not in Western Kalimantan [25,55].
Therefore, matching within the same administration ensures that a
plot inside a protected area (or inside an oil palm concession) from
Eastern Kalimantan is not matched with a timber concession plot
from Western Kalimantan. Eight different administrative groups
(n = 8) were considered (Figure S1 in File S1). Peat soils and
mineral soils were considered because deforestation patterns differ
on peat lands; for example industry-driven deforestation for oil
palm tends to avoid peat lands in favour of mineral soils [43]. The
performance of our matching procedure was evaluated by
investigating whether differences in the control variable between
pairs had been eliminated [56]. Kolmogorov2Smirnov test (KS-
test) and balance statistics provide a way to assess the quality of the
matching method [52]. Both methods provide a measure of the
balance between the treated and control group before and after
matching. The balance statistic is a measure of the percent
improvement in balance and is defined as 100*((|a|-|b|)/|b|),
where a and
b are measures, such as median, mean or maximum,
of the original and matched data set respectively [52]. Here, the
measures used to compare the un-matched and matched data sets
included the empirical quantile median (eQQMedian), mean
(eQQ Mean), and maximum (eQQ Max).
Results
The forest cover map generated by Indonesia’s Ministry of
Forestry indicates that 57% (303,525 km
2
) of Kalimantan’s area
(532,100 km
2
) was covered in natural old-growth forests (either
intact or logged) in 2000. By 2010, this forested area had
decreased by 14,212 km
2
, representing a 4.7% loss over the
decade. In 2000, the combined area of protected areas and timber
concessions contained about 55% (182,185 km
2
) of Kalimantan’s
natural forests (Figure 1A&B). In the subsequent 10-year period,
natural forests occurring in protected areas had been reduced by
1,122 km
2
, representing a 1.2% loss. Forests in timber concessions
had been reduced by 1,336 km
2
, representing a 1.5% loss
(Table 1). Forests in areas granted to oil palm concessions had
been reduced by 5,600 km
2
, representing a 14.1% loss.
The total area (248,305 km
2
) set aside for timber harvesting in
natural forests (production zone; Hutan Produksi ) by the Indonesian
government in 2000 had shrunk by 25% by 2010 (Figure 2). The
production zone includes the active timber concession licenses (the
105,945 km
2
area mentioned in Table 1 and shown in Figure 1A),
and areas without active timber licenses. An estimated 63,000 km
2
of the production zone were reclassified to industrial plantation
Forest Conservation Strategy in Indonesia
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concessions (oil palm and tree crop concessions), while 7,351 km
2
(3%) were reclassified to protected areas (primarily through the
creation of Sebangau National Park). In contrast, less than 1% of
protected areas in year 2000 had become reclassified to either
natural timber or plantation concessions (Figure 2).
The spatial distribution of our 100 ha plots (n = 3,391) reveals
the relative locations of protected areas, timber, and oil palm
concessions (Table 2&3). Protected forest plots are typically
located in the most remote areas (mean elevation = 636 m; mean
slope = 24%; mean travel time to roads, cities, mills and existing
plantations .58 hrs; Table 2). Forest plots in oil palm concessions
are generally located in the least remote areas (mean eleva-
tion = 91 m; mean slope = 4.6%; mean travel time to cities, to
mills and existing plantations,18 hrs; Table 3). Forest plots in
timber concessions are located in intermediate locations, neither as
remote as protected areas or as accessible as oil palm concessions
(mean elevation = 360 m; mean slope = 17%; mean travel time to
cities, to mills and existing plantations,44 hrs; Table 2&3).
To control for such location specific effects in our comparison of
deforestation rates Matchit selected 575 pairs for the logging
concession versus protected area analysis and 194 pairs for the
logging concession versus oil palm concessions analysis.
The distribution of propensity scores between timber conces-
sions and protected areas differed significantly before matching
(KS-test for the ‘‘raw’’ dataset: D = 0.4966, p-value,0.001) and
did not differ significantly after matching (KS-test for ‘‘matched’’
dataset: D = 0.0313, p-value = 0.9408, Figure 3A). The distribu-
tion of propensity scores between timber concessions and oil palm
concessions differed significantly before matching (KS-test for the
‘‘raw’’ dataset: D = 0.6431, p-value,2.2e-16). After matching
these differences disappeared (KS-test: D = 0.0309, p-value = 1.00)
(Figure 3B).
Figure 1. Panel A: protected areas (110,232 km
2
; brown), timber concessions (105,945 km
2
; light green), and industrial oil palm plantation
concessions (115,500 km
2
; pink) in 2010 for Kalimantan (532,100 km
2
), and the spatial distribution of the 3,391 forest plots (100 ha each; black boxes).
Panel B: remaining forest in 2010 (dark green), deforestation from 2000–2010 (red), main roads (black lines), realized oil palm plantations in 2000
(purple), urban areas (yellow) and palm oil mills (black dots).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887.g001
Table 1. Kalimantan-wide losses in forest cover from 2000–2010.
Kalimantan Protected Areas Timber concessions Oil palm concessions Other areas
*
Landmass (km
2
) 532,100 110,232 105,945 115,500 200,423
2000 forest cover (km
2
) 303,524 93,834 88,351 39,722 81,617
Deforestation (km
2
) 14,212 1,122 1,336 5,600 6,155
Deforestation (%) 4.7 1.2 1.5 14.1 7.5
*Other areas include areas outside of Timber and oil palm concessions and outside of protected areas.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887.t001
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For all control variables, the mean difference (‘‘Mean diff’’)
decreased after matching as indicated by the balance indices
(Table 2&3). The various measures used to gauge departure from
perfect matching, such as the empirical quantile median
(eQQMedian), mean (eQQ Mean) and maximum (eQQ Max),
showed a common trend. The mean magnitudes of each of these
statistics became smaller indicating that the matching had resulted
in very similar distributions of all the variables considered. These
indicators of good matching give us more confidence that the
differences in deforestation we observe among the different land
use categories can be attributed to their official status rather than
to other factors.
Based on the unmatched sample dataset mean differences in
deforestation from 2000–2010 (expressed in hectares lost in 100 ha
plots) are all significant (Table 4). After matching, the mean
deforestation was still significantly 17.6 ha lower in timber
concessions than in oil palm concessions (95% C.I.: 222.3 ha–
212.9 ha; Table 4). Most importantly, any difference in defores-
tation rates between natural timber concessions and protected
areas was smaller than could formally be detected using this
method meaning that there is little difference (mean difference:
0.35 ha; 95% C.I.: 20.002 ha–0.7 ha). The spatial distribution of
the pairs is shown in Figure 4.
The protected area category included .50% watershed
protection forest reserves (Hutan Lindung, HL), areas that, except
for a few exceptions of locally funded watershed areas, receive
neither funds nor are actively managed by governmental agencies.
By grouping these HL reserves with protected areas designated for
their conservation values (e.g. national parks), the above analysis
potentially diluted the protection impact of managed protected
areas. However, when HL reserves were excluded from the
protected area category, deforestation was still not significantly
higher in natural forest timber concessions than in protected areas
(mean difference: 0.66 ha; 95% C.I.: 20.11 ha–1.43 ha; Table 4).
The distribution of propensity scores between timber concessions
and managed protected areas is shown in Figure S2 in File S1.
The spatial distribution of the pairs for the timber concession and
managed protected areas is shown in Figure S3 in File S1.
Figure 2. Map showing the change of land use status of area allocated for natural timber harvesting and protected areas during
2000–2010 in Kalimantan. Area allocated for natural timber harvesting in 2000 and 2010 (light green); Protected area in 2000 and 2010 (dark
green); Area allocated for natural timber harvesting in 2000 reclassified to industrial plantation concessions in 2010 (red); Area allocated for natural
timber harvesting in 2000 reclassified to protected area in 2010 (orange); Protected area in 2000 reclassified to industrial plantation concessionsin
2010 (yellow).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887.g002
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Table 2. Summary of balance of the control variables before and after matching for Protected Area (PA) and natural forest Timber
Concession (TC) plots.
Variable
Means
in TC cells
Means in
PA cells
SD
Control
Mean
Diff
eQQ
Med
eQQ
Mean
eQQ
Max
Travel time to cities (hr) Before 43.1 61.9 45.8 218.8 18.1 18.7 37.6
After 48.9 56.6 41.7 27.8 7.9 7.8 26.3
% Balance Improvement
a
61.9% 61.1% 61.8% 40.6%
Travel time to mills (hr) Before 42.4 64.6 44.5 222.2 23.9 22.2 40.0
After 49.4 55.5 41.4 26.1 4.2 6.1 37.0
% Balance Improvement
a
74.1% 88.0% 74.0% 17.6%
Travel time to roads (hr) Before 41.7 59.0 42.3 217.3 18.7 17.2 33.6
After 48.0 55.1 41.0 27.1 7.2 7.1 16.8
% Balance Improvement
a
62.3% 68.2% 62.2% 53.6%
Travel time to plantations
(hr)
Before 39.6 63.6 45.0 224.0 26.0 24.0 44.3
After 47.4 54.0 40.5 26.6 6.3 6.6 22.4
% Balance Improvement
a
74.8% 81.6% 74.7% 51.3%
Elevation (m) Before 359.7 636.4 400.5 2276.6 326.7 282.8 439.4
After 453.5 505.0 312.5 251.5 65.6 66.6 371. 9
% Balance Improvement
a
82.6% 80.8% 77.6% 14.1%
Slope (percent) Before 17.1 24.2 13.2 27.1 7.7 7.3 30.9
After 20.5 21.8 12.0 21.3 1.1 1.4 11.1
% Balance Improvement
a
80.1% 81.3% 79.9% 87.0%
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887.t002
Table 3. Summary of balance of the control variables before and after matching for natural forest Timber Concession (TC) and Oil
Palm Concession (OPC) plots.
Variable
Means in
OPC cells
Means in
TC cells
SD
Control
Mean
Diff
eQQ
Med
eQQ
Mean
eQQ
Max
Travel time to cities (hr) Before 17.6 43.1 37.1 225.5 19.4 26.2 98.1
After 24.8 28.5 27.9 23.8 11.6 12.9 99.9
% Balance Improvement
a
90.5% 48.5% 51.1% 24.4%
Travel time to mills (hr) Before 17.6 42.4 34.7 224.8 18.1 25.9 93.7
After 24.9 27.1 25.5 22.3 9.3 12.2 107.1
% Balance Improvement
a
95.3% 51.1% 53.7% 212.4%
Travel time to roads (hr) Before 16.4 41.7 37.0 225.3 18.5 26.0 101.2
After 22.1 26.9 28.1 24.8 11.4 12.6 96.0
% Balance Improvement
a
86.0% 46.3% 51.6% 2.4%
Travel time to
plantations (hr)
Before 13.9 39.6 35.3 225.7 16.4 26.3 92.3
After 20.4 24.4 26.1 24.1 8.2 12.2 94.5
% Balance Improvement
a
87.4% 53.0% 53.9% 4.0%
Elevation (m) Before 90.8 359.7 292.4 2268.9 201.6 269.0 888.8
After 164.1 167.5 162.3 23.5 20.0 29.1 235.0
% Balance Improvement
a
98.0% 91.0% 89.6% 65.1%
Slope (percent) Before 4.6 17.1 11.7 212.4 12.9 12.5 22.6
After 8.5 8.4 8.5 0.2 0.5 0.8 11.3
% Balance Improvement
a
98.9% 97.1% 91.6% 31.9%
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887.t003
Forest Conservation Strategy in Indonesia
PLOS ONE | www.plosone.org 6 August 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 8 | e69887
Discussion
This study revea ls that Kalim antan’s natural forest timber
concessions, i.e. parcels of natural forest leased out to companies
to extract timber on a long term basis (.30 years), have as far as
we are able to de termine wit h available data and control ling for
the influence of location, main tained forest cover just as well as
protected areas during the 2000–2010 decade, and have
prevented go vernment -sanction ed deforestation; illegal fore st
conversion t o industrial oi l palm plant ations was ma rginal
within timber concessions. These results corroborate findings in
Sumatra w here areas allocated for natural timber harvesting
(production for est) have b een fou nd to res ist illegal forest
conversion to agriculture as well as protected areas during the
1990s when matched to reduce location specific effects [34].
Thus it appears that timber concessions could be used as a
conservation inte rvention t o protect tropical fore sts. T hese
observations come with caveats.
Firstly, we highlight that our results reflect a statistical
conclusion: that is that we cannot detect any significant difference
in the deforestation rates in protected areas and in timber
concessions when we account for location. These results do not
mean that these rates are equal, only that any differences are
relatively small compared with our ability to detect them
unambiguously. For example if our null hypothesis was that
timber concessions maintained a 50% higher deforestation rate
than protected areas under similar spatial contexts we would not
have been able to reject that either. So, substantial uncertainties
remain. Despite our use of propensity score matching we
recognize that these methods are only an approximate solution
and that ambiguities remain regarding the variables considered,
their measurement, their spatial correlations and the choices made
to control for these this is an area where we would hope to make
further methodological investigations in the future in order to
improve confidence and better understand how spatial context
influences the probability and extent of forest cover loss.
Secondly, as our analysis shows, between 2000 and 2010, the
Government of Indonesia reclassified 25% of areas allocated for
natural timber harvesting for use as monoculture oil palm and tree
crop plantations. In the same period, the government only
Figure 3. Histogram distribution of propensity scores before and after matching between timber concessions and protected areas (left panel); and
between timber and oil palm concessions (right panel).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887.g003
Table 4. Comparison of mean differences in deforestation (2000–2010) before and after matching.
TC
vs
OPC TC
vs
PA TC
vs
managed PA
Mean Deforestation rates before matching (ha) 0.91 vs 22.21 0.91 vs 0.16 0.91 vs 0.19
Mean differenc e before matching (ha) 221.3 0.75 0.72
(95% C.I.) 224.8–218.5 0.43–1.05 0.33–1.11
Number of 100 ha plots 1220 vs 472 1220 vs 1699 1220 vs 594
Mean differenc e after matching (ha) 217.6 0.35 0.66
(95% C.I.) (222.3–212.9) (20.002–0.7) (20.11–1.43)
Number of paired 100 ha plots 194 575 111
These values are expressed in hectares lost in 100 ha plots that were nearly fully forested (.95 ha forest cover) in year 2000. Values ranged from 0 ha lost to 100 ha lost
on a continuous scale. Confidence intervals for the unmatched dataset are derived from an independent samples t-test. Confidence intervals for the matched dataset
are derived from the matching algorithm, MatchIt. The mean difference is between: (i) Timber Concession plots (TC) and Oil Palm Concession plots (OPC); (ii) Timber
Concession plots (TC) and Protected Area plots (PA) ; and Timber Concession plots (TC) and managed Protected Area plots (i.e. national parks and nature reserves, but
excluding watershed protection forests which are generally not managed).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887.t004
Forest Conservation Strategy in Indonesia
PLOS ONE | www.plosone.org 7 August 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 8 | e69887
reclassified 3% of timber concessions to the status of protected
area, primarily through the creation of Sebangau National Park in
Central Kalimantan. Although timber concessions areas are
officially required to keep a permanent forest cover, their
classification seems easily changed and reclassification into
industrial plantation concessions legalize deforestation. In contrast,
less than 1% of protected areas had their status changed to
industrial plantation concessions. Thus, compared to protected
areas, timber concessions have been more vulnerable to official
reclassification that permits forest conversion. We only expect
timber concessions to maintain forest cover if they are not
reclassified for plantations. This is a crucial point because the
Indonesian government tends to equate ‘logged’ with ‘degraded/
wasteland,’ but as research shows, logged forests can still be
extremely valuable habitats for orangutans and other species
[16,40,57,58]. The creation of the 5,686 km
2
Sebangau National
Park in 2004, an area logged throughout the 1990s, but containing
the largest contiguous orangutan population on Borneo [41],
indicates that Government of Indonesia is beginning to recognize
the value of logged forests for biodiversity conservation.
Despite the legal protection of forests in protected areas and
natural forest timber concessions, both land use types lack the
management required to prevent all wild fires and illegal
agricultural encroachments by small farmers. This situation is
not unique to Kalimantan. There is ample evidence that
deforestation persists within protected areas because drivers of
deforestation, are coupled with a limited protection capacity that
largely reflects insufficient management resources
[35,59,60,61,62,63,64,65]. Several studies have shown that
protected area management in Indonesia is insufficiently effective
to abate threats of deforestation, and in particular fire, illegal
logging, and illegal encroachment. For example, Kutai National
Park in East Kalimantan province was severely damage by
prolonged drought and wildfires in 1982–1983 [66]. Gunung
Palung National Park in West Kalimantan province was the site of
widespread illegal logging during the early 2000s, following an era
of breakdown in law and order [13]. Bukit Barisan Selatan
National Park, in southern Sumatra suffered massive deforestation
through agricultural encroachment by small famers for coffee
plantations [60,67]. One reason is insufficient funding. In 2006,
Indonesia’s terrestrial protected areas received an average USD
1.56/ha in government funding and an estimated USD 0.67/ha in
funding from non-governmental organizations and international
donor agencies [68]. This is considerably lower than the average
USD 13 spent on protected area management in countries in the
Asia-Pacific Region [69,70]. The shortfall in Indonesia’s protected
area funding that is the funds needed to achieve what their
mandate requires –was estimated at US
$ 81.94 million for 2006
[68]. Funding allocation and management choices may have
further reduced effectiveness. Data are lacking, but claims have
been made that those protected areas involving long-term
collaboration between non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
and park authorities have been more successful in maintaining
forest cover [71].
Our findings indicate that both natural forest timber conces-
sions and protected areas have slowed forest cover loss in
Kalimantan in the face of expanding plantations. Timber
concessions typically generate a higher per hectare revenues than
neighboring protected areas. Timber harvesting in natural forests
provides one way in which forest lands can provide income and
employment while retaining forest: in simple terms, the forest can
pay for its own protection. In addition, studies of the perception of
people in Kalimantan about the value of forests for their health,
culture, and livelihoods show that logged forests remain important
for them [72,73,74,75].
We note that significant forest conservation efforts in Indonesia
have been focused on generating and enforcing strictly protected
areas. There is little doubt that the reclassification of timber
production forest to plantations has been facilitated by the
pervasive judgment that equates logged forests with ‘‘degraded’’
or ‘‘secondary’’ undeserving of conservation concern. If we started
to pay greater attention to the value of logged forest the protection
gains may have been even better. Policy makers, officials and
concession staff can all be encouraged to take pride in the value of
well managed logged forests and their global conservation values.
Our study indicates the desirability of the Government of
Indonesia designating its natural forest timber concessions as
protected areas under the IUCN Protected Area Category VI,
because they perform as effectively as protected areas in
maintaining forest cover and should be protected from reclassi-
fication. The World Database of Protected Areas contains many
examples of permanent forest reserves where hardwood extraction
is one of the activities. Adding Kalimantan’s natural forest timber
concessions to the protected area network would increase the
Figure 4. The spatial distribution of the 575 pairs for the natural forest timber concession (purple)
versus
protected area (green)
analysis (left panel). The spatial distribution of the 194 pairs for the natural forest timber concession (grey) versus oil palm concessions (orange)
analysis (right panel).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069887.g004
Forest Conservation Strategy in Indonesia
PLOS ONE | www.plosone.org 8 August 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 8 | e69887
permanently protected forest in Kalimantan by 248,305 km
2
, i.e.,
the area of production forest that legally should remain forested.
Such changes would require a shift in mindset from producers,
government, and also conservation groups, especially because
government policy presently does not guarantee timber concession
permanent status as natural forest. Still, making such a political
decision and implementing it accordingly would have long-term
benefits for wildlife and the maintenance of ecosystem services
from forests, while continuing the generation of income from
forests. We note that such changes are required to achieve
sustainable forestry practices, which has long been the stated goal
of the Ministry of Forestry and such a permanent and inviolate
forest estate would certainly also have value under the future of
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
programs in which Indonesia receives payments for reduced forest
loss and damage.
Indonesia’s government is taking steps towards the long-term
maintenance of its natural forests. In recognition of the importance
of natural forest timber concessions for biodiversity, economic
development, and social aspirations, the government launched the
Ecosystem Restoration concept in 2007 [76]. The ecosystem
restoration license is granted to companies for a period of 60 years
and can be extended once for a further 35 years. The aim of such
licenses is to allow heavily harvested forests to recover their
potential to produce commercial timber while maintaining a
minimum level of ecosystem services, such as biodiversity
conservation. The initiative has had a slow start, however, and
as of 2012, only 1,005 km
2
in two areas, or about 0.9% of
Kalimantan’s total concession area, had been granted an
ecosystem restoration license [77].
A major impediment to the permanent protection of natural
forests in Kalimantan is the high economic potential of oil palm
plantations [43]. The returns on plantations are much higher than
returns from timber harvesting in natural forests. The conversion
of logged forests to plantations makes economic sense. What may
be overlooked in the political decision-making regarding such land
use conversions are the significant values of natural forests to the
well-being of many of Kalimantan’s people [72,74,75,78]. This
does not only include people living close to these forests, but also
the many people in downstream and coastal areas that are affected
by the negative environmental impacts (air pollution, temperature
increases, changed flooding regimes etc.) from unsustainable land
use [72]. For all the benefits that plantations bring to people, poor
accounting of negative impacts impairs political decision-making
that maximizes the well-being of Kalimantan’s people. Therefore,
considering the importance of natural forest timber concessions for
biodiversity conservation as well as societal aspirations, and the
high rate at which these forests are reclassified to plantations, it
seems important that the Government of Indonesia minimize
conversion of natural forests to plantations and expand forest
restoration opportunities.
Conclusion
Current policies in Indonesia allow logged forests in natural
forest timber concessions to be managed for rehabilitation and
ecosystem restora tion, or to become c onverted to industrial
plantations. The systematic reclassification of timber conces-
sions to plantations should be prevented. Encouraging reha-
bilitation and restoration, and discouraging conversion of
logged forest could play a big role in helping protect forests
and wildlife in Indonesia. If Kalimantan’s forests are approx-
imately as well prote cted fro m ille gal encroachments as they
are in protected areas, as our ana lysis shows, the Indonesian
government wo uld do well str ateg ically t o commit to keep
natural forest timber concessions in product ion o ver the long
term alongside the protected area network to collectively
conserve over two-third of Kalimantan’s remaining forests,
while at the same time providing income and employment.
This could be achieved by reclassifying natural forest timber
concessions as protected areasundertheIUCNProtectedArea
Category VI. Such a permanent forest e state offers benefits f or
biodiversity conservation and other environmental benefits as
well as for providing a founda tion for further investme nt in
sustainable forestry.
Supporting Information
File S1 Supporting information describing how control
variables were derived. This file includes Figure S1, Figure
S2, and Figure S3.
(DOC)
Acknowledgments
The study is part of a larger set of studies on land use optimization,
conservation planning and management, and species ecology (‘‘The
Borneo Futures Initiative’’). We thank the Government of Indonesia with
all the respective forest and wildlife departments and other agencies for
supporting our research, as well as Professor Richard Corlett and one
anonymous reviewer for their help in improving this study.
Author Contributions
Conceived and designed the experiments: DG E. Meijaard. Performed the
experiments: DG MK. Analyzed the data: DG MK E. Molidena.
Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: MH MB P. Potapov ST
AW MA SW. Wrote the paper: DG DS SS E. Meijaard MRG P. Pacheco.
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Supplementary resource (1)

... Agriculture-driven deforestation: Deforestation for which agriculture, directly or indirectly, is a cause; this includes both deforestation resulting in agricultural production and agriculture-driven deforestation without expansion of agricultural production. Agriculture-driven deforestation does not necessarily mean that agriculture is the only or main cause of deforestation; for example, deforestation may be directly driven by the demand for timber alongside the demand for agricultural expansion (49,50,95); further, indirect or underlying drivers always play a role (6,27). ...
... Deforestation can also be followed by several successive agricultural land uses (28). For example, in South America soy expansion in one location has been linked to pasture expansion in others (79,81), and timber harvesting is often a precursor to deforestation, e.g., in case of oil palm expansion in Indonesia (49,95). Such concurrent and interacting drivers of forest degradation and deforestation are poorly evaluated in continental-scale assessments, which can lead to an overly simplified focus on addressing drivers in isolation (47,96). ...
... Logging and demand for wood products (e.g., timber and pulp), charcoal, and fuelwood-alongside agricultural expansion-are key direct drivers of deforestation and even more so of degradation (6,55,101,102). Although deforestation resulting from the expansion of tree plantations is estimated by Goldman et al. (36) and Pendrill et al. (37) (0.1 and 0.8 Mha per year, respectively, with the former only covering eight countries), deforestation due to logging and timber extraction that sometimes occurs in conjunction with and facilitates agriculture expansion (49,50,95) is not comprehensively quantified at the pantropical level. ...
Article
Tropical deforestation continues at alarming rates with profound impacts on ecosystems, climate, and livelihoods, prompting renewed commitments to halt its continuation. Although it is well established that agriculture is a dominant driver of deforestation, rates and mechanisms remain disputed and often lack a clear evidence base. We synthesize the best available pantropical evidence to provide clarity on how agriculture drives deforestation. Although most (90 to 99%) deforestation across the tropics 2011 to 2015 was driven by agriculture, only 45 to 65% of deforested land became productive agriculture within a few years. Therefore, ending deforestation likely requires combining measures to create deforestation-free supply chains with landscape governance interventions. We highlight key remaining evidence gaps including deforestation trends, commodity-specific land-use dynamics, and data from tropical dry forests and forests across Africa.
... The methodology followed in this study applies the FAO definition for forest, except that our minimal mappable area was 1 ha instead of 0.5 ha, and young tropical forest fallow areas (<20 years old), although sometimes taller than 5 m, were not included in our natural forest assessment as they are clearly distinguished on color composite images of Landsat satellite data. Although our forest likelihood product does not relate directly to tree cover density mapping, our results were compared with tree cover density maps from Hansen et al. (2013) for areas with open seasonal forest types, such as Australia and India. The differences were not significant: most of our pixels fell into Hansen's tree cover classes with above 10% of tree cover, meaning our results fulfill the minimal 10% tree canopy cover threshold of the FAO forest definition, although this threshold is questionable for humid tropical landscapes such as those found in Indonesia 4 and Malaysia. ...
... Although it is recognized that most of the fauna of the region can persist in loggedover forests (Meijaard et al. 2005;Wilcove et al. 2013;Gaveau et al. 2013), most logging operations have been unsustainable, especially in the tropics (Edwards et al. 2014). Illegal logging by concessionaires harvesting outside the approved harvesting blocks, or not respecting species or size classes, or by organized gangs that enter forests where other parties hold concessions, or by individuals or groups from local communities that harvest trees for their own use or local sale without any form of permit or license, have been a rampant issue in the Asia-Pacific (Mir and Fraser 2003;Smith et al. 2003) and is still a widespread and major threat nowadays. ...
... The methodology followed in this study applies the FAO definition for forest, except that our minimal mappable area was 1 ha instead of 0.5 ha, and young tropical forest fallow areas (<20 years old), although sometimes taller than 5 m, were not included in our natural forest assessment as they are clearly distinguished on color composite images of Landsat satellite data. Although our forest likelihood product does not relate directly to tree cover density mapping, our results were compared with tree cover density maps from Hansen et al. (2013) for areas with open seasonal forest types, such as Australia and India. The differences were not significant: most of our pixels fell into Hansen's tree cover classes with above 10% of tree cover, meaning our results fulfill the minimal 10% tree canopy cover threshold of the FAO forest definition, although this threshold is questionable for humid tropical landscapes such as those found in Indonesia 4 and Malaysia. ...
... Although it is recognized that most of the fauna of the region can persist in loggedover forests (Meijaard et al. 2005;Wilcove et al. 2013;Gaveau et al. 2013), most logging operations have been unsustainable, especially in the tropics (Edwards et al. 2014). Illegal logging by concessionaires harvesting outside the approved harvesting blocks, or not respecting species or size classes, or by organized gangs that enter forests where other parties hold concessions, or by individuals or groups from local communities that harvest trees for their own use or local sale without any form of permit or license, have been a rampant issue in the Asia-Pacific (Mir and Fraser 2003;Smith et al. 2003) and is still a widespread and major threat nowadays. ...
Article
Full-text available
Primary forests and natural landscapes in Asia and the Pacific are under increasing pressure and threats driven by population growth, migration and conflict, globalization and economic growth, urbanization, mining and infrastructure development, agriculture and planted forest expansion, forest fires and invasive species. Many of these threats are increasingly exacerbated by climate change. To address these threats, FAO and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), lead center of the CGIAR research programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), have developed a roadmap for the conservation of primary forests in Asia and the Pacific, building upon state-of-the-art knowledge and extensive consultation of key regional stakeholders. This publication uses a remote-sensing methodology to accurately and consistently identify and delineate the remaining ‘intact forests’ and ‘contiguous intact forests’ in the Asia-Pacific region over large areas, over long periods of time, and at reasonable costs. It illustrates the huge diversity of forest formations in Asia and the Pacific and calls for a better understanding of the dynamic at stake in forest ecosystems and surrounding landscapes at finer scale. It proposes a set of recommendations, inviting policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to adopt an integrated landscape perspective and to combine different mechanisms and tools at different scales, including protected areas and other area-based conservation measures, to support effective primary forest conservation.
... However, the high productivity and scope for development of agriculture within the tropics makes this a significant challenge (Webster and Wilson, 1998). Many regions of tropical rain forest have been logged to make room for economic crops, such as oil palm, or simply to harvest timber (Aldhous, 2004;Gaveau et al., 2013Gaveau et al., , 2014, leading to large-scale biodiversity loss (Drescher et al., 2016;Gibson et al., 2011;Goldstein, 2014). Not only this, but the current extent and efficacy of protected tropical forest may not be enough to protect biodiversity enough to avert collapse (Laurance et al., 2012;Scriven et al., 2015). ...
... These intact forests contain more biodiversity than degraded forests and are a large carbon store (Gibson et al., 2011;Mackey et al., 2020). However, vast rates of deforestation continue to reduce the remaining primary tropical forest worldwide (Gaveau et al., 2013(Gaveau et al., , 2014Hansen et al., 2013). Such is the extent of deforestation worldwide that emissions of carbon may be higher than capture by remaining primary forest (Baccini et al., 2017;Mitchard, 2018). ...
Thesis
Tropical rain forests are important carbon stores and harbours of biodiversity but are being cleared at an unprecedented rate. There is an estimated 2 billion hectares of degraded forest globally, which retains a large proportion of its biodiversity. Restoration of these lands is needed to meet global commitments to combat the interlinked climate and biodiversity crises, and effective, scalable and affordable monitoring of the restoration process is essential. High resolution remote sensing technologies offer the best hope for monitoring at scale. In particular, unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer a viable option for high spatial and temporal resolution remote sensing, though methods to guide forest restoration with these are still in their infancy. This thesis introduces approaches for the use of remote sensing data to guide tropical forest management, with particular focus on the use of UAV data in the context of restoration, looking at canopy structure, composition and dynamics. First, I introduce the context of tropical forest restoration, discussing the contribution of remote sensing to monitoring and understanding projects, with a focus on the recent developments around the use of UAVs. I also introduce the main study site of this thesis --- an ecosystem restoration concession of nearly 100 km^2 in Sumatra, Indonesia, known as Hutan Harapan. Next, I introduce a method for delineating individual tree crowns in three dimensions from remote sensing data in the form of point clouds, as created by light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and UAV structure from motion (SfM) approaches. This method, MCGC, makes use of graph cut concepts from mathematics combined with understanding of tree crown geometry and allometric scaling to automatically map tree crowns. I validate this approach using data collected in Borneo, comparing forests with three distinctive structures, showing the power of this approach to both map trees and estimate aboveground biomass. In Chapter 3, I develop a pipeline for automatic mapping of key tree species prevalence at Hutan Harapan from photographs taken from a UAV. I show it is possible to break up imagery over management units into superpixels, and through a combination of spectral and textural patterns in the imagery, train an automatic classifier to detect the species of interest from UAV imagery. I then show the power of this approach to map prevalence of key tree species indicative of the successional stage of forest recovery and demonstrate the utility of this approach for guiding management. I find that using an extra camera to take photographs with additional wavebands only slightly improved mapping accuracy. Finally, I use a combination of a LiDAR survey in 2014 and UAV surveys in 2017 and 2018 to track the effects of the strong El Niño event of 2015-16 on the canopy at Hutan Harapan, looking at 3 sites of varying recovery status spanning 100 ha of forest. I find that early-successional forest was less resistant to the drought than taller secondary forest – with canopy height loss and high mortality. However, in the subsequent high-rainfall period, I observe that early-successional forests recovered strongly. Together, the analyses demonstrate that early-successional stages lost and then regained canopy height to a greater extent that taller forest, highlighting the power of repeat surveys using LiDAR and UAVs to track canopy dynamics. Finally, I critically evaluate the methods developed, highlighting how the insights they provide can be useful for restoration practitioners, underlining the key role that remote sensing, especially with a UAV, can play whilst also needing further development.
... These environmental protection goals sometimes conflict with production activities, such as ranching (Burton et al. 2008;, forestry (Fisher et al. 2011;Gaveau et al. 2013), and farming (Henle et al. 2008;Young et al. 2010;Liu et al. 2017), activities that contribute to social well-being. The conflict results from landowners' or land managers' belief that undertaking environmental protection activities such as habitat management or climate change mitigation can 'harm' them by reducing profits, increasing management costs, or threatening certain lifestyles (these are collectively referred to as landowners' and land managers' fear of harm) (Environment and Climate Change Canada 2016; Hossu et al. 2018;Reiter et al. 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
The working landscape approach is gaining rapid recognition for its potential to help address global environmental crises such as climate change and biodiversity loss and support social well-being. Yet, the working landscape approach still lacks a comprehensive conceptual framework to guide further research and practice. This article provides such a framework through a comprehensive review and synthesis of the governance dimension of working landscapes. The framework is built on five premises, including (1) the working landscape approach focuses on simultaneously achieving social well-being and environmental protection within the landscapes, (2) it is concerned with fostering collective action among multiple actors to deliver sustainable outcomes, (3) the social-ecological context affects and is affected by the working landscape in question, (4) five common elements—equity, facilitative leadership, local autonomy, incentives, and trust—are essential for facilitating collective action in working landscapes, and (5) collaborative and multilevel interactions enhance governance fit in working landscapes. Our framework focuses on the local scale and how the local is embedded within multilevel governance arrangements. This framework can guide empirical case studies on the working landscape approach, further its theoretical understanding, and contribute to enhancing policy aimed at increased social well-being and environmental protection.
... Protected areas and logging concessions are associated with the lowest deforestation risk to the sizeable orangutan populations remaining in these areas, in line with previous research on Borneo (Gaveau et al., 2013;Voigt et al., 2018). Our findings reinforce the value of well-managed logging concessions for biodiversity and the need to control habitat degradation within these forests, as well as preventing conversion and avoiding their degazettement after logging stops (Burivalova et al., 2020). ...
Article
Assessing where wildlife populations are at risk from future habitat loss is particularly important for land-use planning and avoiding biodiversity declines. Combining projections of future deforestation with species density information provides an improved way to anticipate such declines. Using the critically endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) as a case study we applied a spatio-temporally explicit deforestation model to forest loss data from 2001 to 2017 and projected future impacts on orangutans to the 2030s. Our projections point to continued deforestation across the island, amounting to a potential loss of forest habitat for 26,200 orangutans. Populations currently persisting in forests gazetted for industrial timber and oil palm concessions, or unprotected forests outside of concessions, were projected to experience the worst losses within the next 15 years, amounting to 15,400 individuals. Our analysis indicates the importance of protecting orangutan habitat in plantation landscapes, maintaining protected areas and efforts to prevent the conversion of logged forests for the survival of highly vulnerable wildlife. The modeling framework could be expanded to other species with available density or occurrence data. Our findings highlight that species conservation should not only act on the current information, but also anticipate future changes to be effective.
... Intact forests have either escaped significant recent cutting or modification by people, or such modifications were too minor to be detected. Selectively harvested forests have been subjected to industrial scale mechanized selective timber cutting and extraction but are recovering [21]. Intact and selectively logged forests are called "primary" and "secondary" forests on the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and Environment's forest maps [22]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Much concern about tropical deforestation focuses on oil palm plantations, but their impacts remain poorly quantified. Using nation-wide interpretation of satellite imagery, and sample-based error calibration, we estimated the impact of large-scale (industrial) and smallholder oil palm plantations on natural old-growth (“primary”) forests from 2001 to 2019 in Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer. Over nineteen years, the area mapped under oil palm doubled, reaching 16.24 Mha in 2019 (64% industrial; 36% smallholder), more than the official estimates of 14.72 Mha. The forest area declined by 11% (9.79 Mha), including 32% (3.09 Mha) ultimately converted into oil palm, and 29% (2.85 Mha) cleared and converted in the same year. Industrial plantations replaced more forest than detected smallholder plantings (2.13 Mha vs 0.72 Mha). New plantations peaked in 2009 and 2012 and declined thereafter. Expansion of industrial plantations and forest loss were correlated with palm oil prices. A price decline of 1% was associated with a 1.08% decrease in new industrial plantations and with a 0.68% decrease of forest loss. Deforestation fell below pre-2004 levels in 2017–2019 providing an opportunity to focus on sustainable management. As the price of palm oil has doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, effective regulation is key to minimising future forest conversion.
... This strategy has the merit of generating both income and employment, making it easier to gain political and public support for the conservation. Integrating natural forest timber concessions into a forest protection strategy can be effective in countries such as Indonesia where the management of protected areas remains weak, where the government seeks out economic opportunities for its population, and where the urgency of conservation action is high (Gaveau et al., 2013). A third recommendation comes from the study by Wang et al. which assessed the overlap between climatic suitability for rubber cultivation and the extinction vulnerability of wild vertebrates. ...
Chapter
Tropical forests have a complex structure, from lowlands to mountain forests, and among them is the heath forest (HF). HF are characterized by nutrient poor soil which limits all above ground biomass, in addition to the forest structure and biodiversity. HF are distributed in Southeast Asia as well as in the Neotropics, although they are known by different names. Their distribution is in patches in lowland sites. Trees with poor economic value have resulted in a poor consideration of the forest from a conservation perspective. In this study, we emphasize the reconsideration of the HF when it comes to its importance in term of species diversity, endemism, and ecosystem services at both the global and regional level. Moreover, HF has a crucial role in public education, tourism, and the local economy, and as a buffer in terms of limiting the climate change effect on many tropical cities.
... The natural forest management permit area shows a negative and not significant effect on forest cover in Indonesia. The results of this study are in line with Fisher et al. (2011);Gaveau et al. (2012); Gaveau et al. (2013); Indarto et al. (2015); Meijaard & Sheil (2007) (2006) raising questions about the effectiveness of policies the current forest moratorium and the forest tariff policy towards mitigating deforestation. As the rate of deforestation and the increasing volume of timber from illegal logging and the number of natural forest management permits tend to decrease, the area of forest damaged by illegal logging continues to increase, and there is no clear information about the area of forest affected by logging activities. ...
Article
Full-text available
Forests are unique resources and environments because, in general, they provide many benefits. Changing the function of forest areas to other functions is inseparable from economic development. As a developing country, Indonesia's economy is still dependent on natural resources to support its development. Economic integration through trade openness plays a vital role in economic growth. Policies that enhance the country's ability to trade will help the economy to develop. The more open the trade regime will make the country specialize in semi-finished input products, its competitive advantage. However, economic integration also creates negative externalities in the form of increased deforestation. This study explores the effect of trade openness on deforestation using a panel data method in 20 provinces in Indonesia from 2008-2018. Not many studies have focused on trade openness, large plantations, and social interactions as the driving forces behind deforestation in Indonesia. From the estimation results of the model, it is known that trade openness, economic growth, and activities of logging and forest conversion each contribute to changes in forest cover. If the commodity price rises, it will impact decreasing forest cover. Also, increasing population and density have decreased forest cover because land outside the forest area is limited.
Chapter
We investigated the causes of forest degradationForest degradation and deforestationDeforestation in East KalimantanEast Kalimantan province, as one of the highest increases in primary forestForests loss in Indonesia. Here we used satellite-based observation of Landsat images to quantify the loss of primary and secondary forestForests and its transition between 2000 and 2016. We found that among the three types of forestForests in the region (i.e., dryland, swamp, and mangrove), mangrove experienced the highest forestForests loss (i.e., 26.7% of total mangrove forestForests) followed by a swamp (16.75%) and dryland forestForests (11.9%). Furthermore, this region has experienced forest degradationForest degradation and deforestationDeforestation of about 0.5 Mha and 0.88 Mha within 16 years of the study period. Forest degradationForest degradation mainly occurred in the primary forestForests, while rapid deforestationDeforestation was primarily in the secondary forestForests where logging activities were the main drivers. The other main drivers of deforestationDeforestation were aquaculture, which contributes about 26.4 thousand ha of mangrove forestForests loss, and estate cropland, which contributes about 177.6 thousand ha and 2.2 thousand ha of dryland forestForests and swamp forestForests, respectively. Mining, agricultureAgriculture, and infrastructure development were the other drivers of deforestationDeforestation. Furthermore, no evidence showed the land use transition from the secondary forestForests into primary forestForests or non-forestForests land use type into secondary forestForests. This information will be beneficial to local authorities when designing a policy for avoiding negative impacts on deforestationDeforestation.
Article
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A round table discussion was convened to explore divergent views on the potential for natural forest management (NFM) for timber to contribute to wide-scale maintenance of forest cover and biological diversity in tropical forests The general argument for NFM for timber is that, by conferring relatively more economic value on forests than alternative forest uses, NFM for timber is a necessary, though imperfect, means by which extensive areas of forest cover and a large measure of their biological diversity would be maintained outside nature reserves. The discussion centred on five topics: the biological-diversity-related benefits and drawbacks of instituting NFM for timber, the biological and economic constraints on successful NFM for timber, the alternatives to NFM for timber, and the relative merits of community versus industrial concessions as mechanisms by which to institute NFM for limber. Both proponents and critics of NFM for timber should recognise that, first, NFM for timber can be carried out in ways that mitigate the negative effects on biological diversity and, second, there is a common set of conditions necessary to maintain forest cover for any use, including NFM for timber or nature reserves.
Article
Full-text available
Borneo (Indonesia) is Earth's third largest island, and the location of both extensive areas of rainforest and tropical peatlands. It is the site of both regular (seasonal) biomass burning associated with deforestation, land cover change and agricultural production preparations, and occa-sional, but much more severe, extreme fire episodes releasing enormous volumes of carbon from burning vegetation and peat. These extreme fire episodes are believed to result from anthropogenic practices related to (the still ongoing) forest degradation and clearance activities, whose impact with re-gard to fire is magnified by the effects of El Niño related drought. Since 2000, data from the MODIS Earth Obser-vation satellite instruments have been used to study fire on Borneo, but earlier large fire events remain less well docu-mented. Here we focus on a series of large fire episodes prior to the MODIS era, and specifically a 20 yr period covering both the two strongest El Niño events on record (1997–1998 and 1982–1983), along with an unprecedented series of more frequent, but weaker, El Niños. For the five El Niños occur-ring between 1980 and 2000, we develop quantitative mea-sures of the fire activity across Borneo based on active fire counts derived from NOAA AVHRR Global Area Coverage (GAC) Earth Observation satellite data. We use these metrics to investigate relationships between the strength and timing of the El Niño event, the associated drought, and the fire ac-tivity. During each El Niño, we find areas of major fire activ-ity confined within two or three fire sub-seasons (separated by monsoons) and focused in parts of South and Central Kali-mantan, and sometimes also in East and/or West Kalimantan. For each El Niño we investigate various lag correlations, and find relationships of similar strength between monthly rain-fall deficit and fire, but of more variable strength between in-dices of El Niño strength (ENSO indices) and rainfall deficit. The two strongest El Niño episodes (1982–1983 and 1997– 1998) are accompanied by the most abundant fires (two and three times the active fire count seen in the next largest fire year), and the strongest correlations between measures of El Niño strength, rainfall and fire. We find the most significant positive statistical association between an ENSO index and fire activity to be that between the 16-month (first and second fire sub-seasons) cumulative NINO3 anomaly and the simul-taneously recorded active fire count (r = 0.98, based on the five El Niño episodes between 1980 and 2000), although we find a negative association of equal strength between the cu-mulative NINO4 index and active fire count when considered over the entire two year duration of each El Niño episode (first, second and third fire sub-seasons). Our results con-firm that the El Niño phenomenon, via its effect on precip-itation, is a primary large-scale, short-term climatic factor that has a strong control on the magnitude of the fire activ-ity resulting from the numerous land cover changes, agricul-tural preparation practices and human-caused ignitions oc-curring annually across Borneo. The results also suggest that ENSO forecasting maybe a realistic means of estimating the extent and magnitude of this fire activity some months in ad-vance, thus offering some potential for forecasting effects on the remaining forest and peatland resource and the regional atmosphere.
Article
Full-text available
We ascertained villagers' perceptions about the importance of forests for their livelihoods and health through 1,837 reliably answered interviews of mostly male respondents from 185 villages in Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo. Variation in these perceptions related to several environmental and social variables, as shown in classification and regression analyses. Overall patterns indicated that forest use and cultural values are highest among people on Borneo who live close to remaining forest, and especially among older Christian residents. Support for forest clearing depended strongly on the scale at which deforestation occurs. Deforestation for small-scale agriculture was generally considered to be positive because it directly benefits people's welfare. Large-scale deforestation (e.g., for industrial oil palm or acacia plantations), on the other hand, appeared to be more context-dependent, with most respondents considering it to have overall negative impacts on them, but with people in some areas considering the benefits to outweigh the costs. The interviews indicated high awareness of negative environmental impacts of deforestation, with high levels of concern over higher temperatures, air pollution and loss of clean water sources. Our study is unique in its geographic and trans-national scale. Our findings enable the development of maps of forest use and perceptions that could inform land use planning at a range of scales. Incorporating perspectives such as these could significantly reduce conflict over forest resources and ultimately result in more equitable development processes.
Article
Full-text available
We ascertained villagers’ perceptions about the importance of forests for their livelihoods and health through 1,837 reliably answered interviews of mostly male respondents from 185 villages in Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo. Variation in these perceptions related to several environmental and social variables, as shown in classification and regression analyses. Overall patterns indicated that forest use and cultural values are highest among people on Borneo who live close to remaining forest, and especially among older Christian residents. Support for forest clearing depended strongly on the scale at which deforestation occurs. Deforestation for small-scale agriculture was generally considered to be positive because it directly benefits people’s welfare. Large-scale deforestation (e.g., for industrial oil palm or acacia plantations), on the other hand, appeared to be more context-dependent, with most respondents considering it to have overall negative impacts on them, but with people in some areas considering the benefits to outweigh the costs. The interviews indicated high awareness of negative environmental impacts of deforestation, with high levels of concern over higher temperatures, air pollution and loss of clean water sources. Our study is unique in its geographic and trans-national scale. Our findings enable the development of maps of forest use and perceptions that could inform land use planning at a range of scales. Incorporating perspectives such as these could significantly reduce conflict over forest resources and ultimately result in more equitable development processes.
Article
In May 2010, Indonesia signed a $1-billion partnership with Norway to reduce deforestation and prepare for a global REDD+ scheme (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). A pillar of the pact is a moratorium on new agricultural and logging licenses in ∼535,294 km2 of species-rich dryland forest and ∼153,984 km2 of carbon-rich peatlands. A critical question is whether these moratorium areas constitute "additional" conservation. We test whether dryland forests and peatlands within moratorium areas differ from unprotected forest and recently cleared forest on a range of biophysical, economic, and agricultural attributes indicative of forest threat. Compared to other forests, dryland moratorium forests are significantly more marginal economically, less physically accessible, more removed from forest disruption, and more sheltered from encroachment, such that their "conservation" achieves little additional prevention of forest loss and carbon emissions. Peatland moratorium areas are, however, a conservation success insofar as they are indistinguishable from unprotected peatland and encompass the majority of remaining peatland area, much of which is vulnerable to future conversion.
Book
During the last two decades conservation concepts have shifted to a sustainable-use approach, which
Article
Several studies suggest that protected areas conserve forests because deforestation rates are lower inside than outside protected area boundaries. Such benefits may be overestimated when deforestation rates within protected areas are contrasted with rates in lands where forest conversion is sanctioned. Here, we reexamine protected area performance by disentangling the effects of land use regulations surrounding the 110,000 km2 protected area network in Sumatra, Indonesia. We compared 1990–2000 deforestation rates across: (1) protected areas; (2) unprotected areas sanctioned for conversion; and (3) unprotected production areas where commercial logging is permitted but conversion is not. Deforestation rates were lower in protected areas than in conversion areas (Mean: −19.8%; 95% C.I.: −29.7—−10.0%; P < 0.001), but did not differ from production areas (Mean: −3.3%; 95% C.I.: −9.6—2.6%; P= 0.273). The measured protection impact of Sumatran protected areas differs with land use regulations governing unprotected lands used for comparisons. If these regulations are not considered, protected areas will appear increasingly effective as larger unprotected forested areas are sanctioned for conversion and deforested. In the 1990s, production areas were as effective as protected areas at reducing deforestation. We discuss implications of these findings for carbon conservation.